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When looking to start a new website, choosing a hosting provider is one of the most important things. Next, you want to think about the type of hosting you’re after because it’s going to determine key parameters, such as speed, security, scalability, and of course – the price.
While shared hosting is the #1 choice of many people, more often than not, users are opting for cloud or VPS hosting. Sure, these are more expensive options but many users find them more suitable for their needs. But what if you’re not sure which one to go for?
In this article, we’ll give you a full cloud hosting vs VPS hosting breakdown to see which choice is better for you. With everything said, let’s talk about what these solutions represent and compare them across several important categories to see which one will win.
1. What Is Cloud Hosting?
Let’s start by talking about cloud hosting. As its name implies, cloud hosting lets you host a website using a virtual machine for resources. This virtual machine or machines are based on physically-located servers which pump out the required resources for your site.
The main benefit of cloud hosting is that the resources are available at any time, as these virtual machines are connected to each other.
If one machine runs out of resources, for example, another machine hosted on a different server will jump in, provide the required resources for hosting a site, and thus, make it work properly at any given moment.
Cloud hosting is, therefore, very reliable and its resource are spread across a myriad of physical servers. As such, you have resources that are always available since another physical server can always provide them in case one server is disabled or isn’t working properly for any reason.
2. What Is VPS Hosting?
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Therefore, VPS hosting hosts your website on one physical server further split into several virtual servers. Unlike dedicated hosting, for example, here, you still share the physical server’s resources with other sites, which many people seem to forget.
A physical server is split into several virtual servers, each acting as a separate server, and when you purchase a VPS hosting plan, you actually get one of those virtual servers and its resources, hence its name.
The good thing is that you can fully customize your plan and get the amount of resources you want.
With shared hosting, that is impossible. Furthermore, VPS hosting won’t exchange any information with other users of the same VPS server, so its level of security is high. Compared to cloud hosting, however, it’s less reliable if the physical server crashes or fails.
In this case, every virtual server on that physical server crashes as well, making the sites hosted on it malfunction.
3. Cloud vs VPS Hosting Comparison
Now that you know what is cloud and VPS hosting, let’s see what are their key differences.
3.1 Price (Draw)
When it comes to price, both of these options are more expensive than shared hosting, yet, they’re also way cheaper than dedicated hosting. VPS hosting prices can vary greatly depending on the resources you need. They can be close to shared hosting and even dedicated hosting’s cheaper plans.
Cloud hosting follows the same route. It can be both cheap and expensive but the general rule is that both of these will be way cheaper than dedicated hosting. Overall, we can say it’s a draw in this regard. Sometimes, you’ll get cheaper VPS hosting, while some providers offer cheaper cloud hosting.
This makes it very difficult to decide on a winner, so let’s say it’s a draw.
3.2 Performance and Reliability (Cloud Hosting)
In terms of performance and reliability, cloud hosting is a clear winner. I mean, it’s faster and its resources are spread across a variety of physical servers. They work to provide the best possible performance and meet your demands even if one of the servers fails.
Another server will quickly “help” by providing the required resources, giving you top-notch performance at any time. VPS hosting is fast as well but its performance depends on the resources you get. If you purchase more RAM, a stronger CPU, and SSD storage, it’ll be very fast.
Keep in mind that your Virtual Private Server is a part of the physical server shared with other users. If the server reaches its limits because of this, the whole experience can become worse due to the performance hit that each of the users will experience.
Although, to be honest, this is extremely unlikely to happen and in many experiences, I had with VPS hosting, I pretty much always enjoyed the excellent performance.
3.3 Flexibility (Cloud Hosting)
Cloud hosting is also more flexible and allows for easier scalability. With VPS hosting, you purchase a pre-defined set of resources according to your needs. If your needs increase, you can only do so much with the resources you’re working with.
Scaling is, therefore, much harder, and your site might not be able to handle traffic surges well. Cloud hosting is more flexible and allows you to buy more resources with a few clicks of a mouse. This allows you to switch to a more expensive plan quickly if your demands increase over time.
With all of the physical servers available to you, it’s only a matter of price and your desire to get more resources. Paying more makes the provider unlock other servers’ resources, which boosts your performance and allows for higher loads, better speeds, and more traffic.
3.4 Security (Draw)
Security-wise, both VPS and cloud hosting are considered very secure. However, cloud-based systems, in general, are more prone to cyber-attacks, although cloud hosting providers apply many security measures to prevent this from happening.
VPS hosting also has these measures, as each server offers advanced DDoS protection, various backup options, and so forth. Plus, each Virtual Private Server is independent of the other virtual servers on a physical server, so they can’t affect each other.
Modern cloud and VPS hosting solutions are both incredibly secure and you’ll most likely never hear about them getting compromised due to the “heavy” security they have.
3.5 Customization Options (VPS Hosting)
While both options are customizable, I think VPS hosting is a bit better here, as it allows for easier customization. For one, you can choose the resources you get, and each VPS hosting solution gives you root access with useful additions such as cPanel or Softaculous installer.
Furthermore, many VPS hosting services let you choose from Linux and Windows as your OS and you can customize many other aspects of your plan. Sure, you’re limited by the resources you have, but you get plenty of options even in this frame.
Cloud hosting’s customization options are here too. The main one is the ability to purchase the exact amount of resources you need to avoid overpaying for something you’re not using. However, if you want to customize your interface or anything else, you need to be more tech-savvy.
Cloud hosting, in this regard, is a bit more complex than VPS hosting where customization is simpler. And for that reason, we think VPS hosting is a bit more suitable for those looking for extensive customization and personalization.
4. Summary: Who Wins?
If we take our comparison as a reference and use these results, we can say that cloud hosting wins. It’s faster, offers more flexibility, and can be as cheap as VPS hosting. However, it’s not all black and white and the choice of the type of hosting depends entirely on your needs.
VPS hosting is for those with a consistent number of website visitors with no special needs for scaling and increasing their resources. This hosting is great for customization and allows you to quickly, easily, and effortlessly set up your website with an OS, plug-ins, and Control Panel of your choice.
Cloud environment lets you get more resources and it’s scalable, which means you can adapt the website to your growing needs. It’s faster, better performing, and more reliable thanks to reliance on multiple servers to supply resources for your website.
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